Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men: the classic Christmas message. But looking around the globe, with all the wars and unrest, peace on earth seems very far away if not altogether impossible. Sometimes it seems as though we are completely helpless to do anything, but that's not the case. During this Holiday season -- and hopefully beyond -- we can monitor the little tiny wars that flicker across our hearts and minds throughout the day: The irritation that rises up against our family members over the smallest slights ... The annoyance at all of the other people on the road and in the stores who are getting in our way and holding us up, as if we should have the place all to ourselves.
Can we ask the kids to put the dishes in the dishwasher without the edge in our voices? When stuck in traffic, can we take a breath and relax and just let it be what it is? When someone passes us, can we not react -- not take it as an act of hostility? Let's imagine that we are giving everyone who crosses our path a Holiday gift -- the gift of being pleasant and peaceful. Maybe doing a small favor if you can, like letting a harried mother ahead of you in the grocery line, or throwing the neighbor's newspaper closer to their door when you're out on a walk. There are a million little opportunities for kindness. Let's try it -- be nice, and watch it ripple out.
Peace, La Paz, Shalom, Shanti, Salam and Happy Holidays!